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December 31, 2022
Non-Members (advertising-supported) edition
Putting everything into perspective
By Chuck Woodbury
FOUNDER AND PUBLISHER
This is a photo of the world’s most distant recreational vehicle. By definition, it has almost everything our RVs have—all that’s needed for temporary living for a trip away from home. Our Earth-bound RVs have wheels, so that’s different. But as far as a traveling abode away from home, this has many of the same features. If you want to see a large image, click here.
It’s a selfie of the Orion spacecraft taken beyond the moon on Nov. 28 on its journey into Space and back. No humans were aboard, but it won’t be long before they will be. I’d give everything I own to go. Alas, that’s not going to happen.
Stare at the photo for a while. If you’re reading on a smartphone, find a computer with a big screen. That’s us in the top right corner—on that little blue orb—you, me and 8 billion other people. Look at us out there surrounded by all that black nothingness. Let your mind wander. Gulp! Do you suddenly feel very alone?
Are you mad at somebody today, maybe a friend, sibling, parent—for what is probably a petty reason? Come on, look at the photo. How does your little squabble stack up in the big scheme of things? Who cares? Our little planet has been up there for billions of years. We get to occupy it in our human form for a fraction of a cosmic nanosecond. Look at the picture. Calm down.
You, me, and most readers of this newsletter are so lucky. For one, we have our little wheeled homes to travel about (and most of us have a traditional home as well). The RVs take us to wonderful places at the turn of an ignition key. Do you realize how fortunate we are?
WHEN I LOOK AT THIS PHOTOGRAPH taken from far, far away, I am reminded of how blessed a life I have lived. And you could probably say the same thing. Sure, we can always find people better off than us and lament that we come up short—”Oh, woe is me!” But maybe when we start thinking that way we should pause and remember instead those less fortunate than us, and be thankful for what we have. Do you have shelter? Food? Your health? Someone who loves you? Then count your blessings. And do you have a little recreational vehicle that transports you like a magic carpet to magic places? No King or Queen in history (until a few decades ago) ever had such a luxury!
I am looking forward to a wonderful 2023, and I vow to be kind to others and help them when I can, and not to be greedy, and to thank whoever or whatever is up there in the heavens running the show, who has been so kind to me in this beautiful life I was born into.
Happy New Year to you!
Stay warm and healthy and happy, and try your best to understand and accept people with beliefs that differ from yours.
Signing off now from rainy Seattle.
Your good ol’ buddy,
Remember: No Sunday newsletter tomorrow. We’ll be back to our regular schedule next week.
P.S. Writer wanted: Are you an expert on RV insurance? If so, please consider writing a column for us. Tons of publicity for you (and most likely a lot of new customers if you’re in the business), and a big help for our readers. Contact me at chuck (at) RVtravel.com
RV Service Centers and Repairs Report
Mostly good service and repair news to end the year
A while ago we asked you to tell us about your experiences with RV service centers. You came through with hundreds of responses. This week we heard from several readers with nothing but praise for their service centers and repair technicians. But, of course, not a week goes by that we don’t hear from disgruntled RVers regarding service on their RVs. Such is the case with Kimberly K. What a nightmare, including a call from the sheriff’s deputy while the RV was in the shop! All that and more here.
What was your favorite memory of 2022?
The articles in this newsletter are special today. We asked all of our writers to write about their favorite 2022 memory (or memories). What was their favorite moment? Make sure to read them all. Feel free to share your favorite 2022 memory in the comment section at the bottom of this newsletter.
Merging back onto I-90 … and back into life in 2022
By Jeff Clemishaw
2022 was a bit of a whirlwind for me, filled with lots of excitement, surprises, frustration, and changes. The year started in Lake Tahoe, California, with one rig, and ended in the same place, but with a different rig. In April of this year, I found out I had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma—a highly treatable form of cancer but still scary, nonetheless. Being in California with out-of-state insurance, my partner, Nicole, and I needed to return home to Upstate New York so I could receive treatment. Continue reading Jeff’s uplifting story.
A year in photos: The best (and worst) memories of our 2022
By Nanci Dixon
The best (and worst) memories of our 2022 are found sitting on my phone. It is a year in photos, just like the now-defunct Life magazine’s “The Year in Pictures.” I scroll through thousands of 2022 photos on my phone reliving our wonderful travels, a few times of deep sadness and an unforgettable RVing “oops.” It is so easy to forget what wonderful experiences we have had this year. Last January seems so very long ago. See Nanci’s (albeit abbreviated) year in photos here.
2022 Favorite moments from the California RV Specialists crew
By Dustin Simpson
This past year seemed to go by at lightning speed. I’ve been asked to share my favorite moment of 2022, but the truth is, I simply couldn’t do what I do without my team. So I want to share a few favorite moments from my team here at California RV Specialists. Meet the great crew.
Three generations of camping tradition continued in 2022
By Dave Helgeson
As a child, my wife camped with her family at a now very popular state park in Western Washington. I won’t name it because it is hard enough to get reservations now without popularizing it any more. After our first child (daughter) was born, my wife suggested we go there for her first campout. When our son came along two years later, it was also his first camping experience. It became our “go-to” place nearly every year. … Read about this mysterious magical place.
Highlights from this week’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter
- Handy tricks for using plastic wrap while RVing
- “Dew” away with mildew in the RV!
- Use the off-season wisely to get ready for next season’s trips
- 10 clever ways to reuse holiday gift wrap
- My most memorable New Year’s Eve—A wonderful time with strangers
Ishah–The little trailer that gave us a badly needed break
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Sometimes when we’re in a mood to reflect on our history, we dig back in the photo archives. For years, at least since our transition from film to digital, we’ve had easy access to pictures. Just fire up the computer, click away, and watch history unfold. It’s funny how your memory is jogged by those images—you suddenly remember things that you thought you never knew. We catalog those memory joggers year-by-year, and months within years. Usually, there are scads to look at. But not this year. Find out why here.
Finding human connection as a solo RVer in 2022
By Cheri Sicard
OK, the RVtravel.com editors have tasked me with the assignment of coming up with my favorite RV moment of 2022. That is a tough question. It’s not that I lack great moments to choose from. In fact, I have so many great moments, it makes the task even harder (not that I am complaining). I was blessed to do a whole lot of travel this year, as any of you who followed along on my “Long, long RV trip” already know. … A lot of people use their RVs to get away from people. What I love most about my RV is that it allows me to connect with people. What I loved most about 2022 were all of those very special connections.
Downsizing and the best of 2022
By Randall Brink
For weeks in the spring of 2022, I fought the RV bull market at its apex—the wrong time to buy. I had sold my Class A coach and was determined to downsize. After months of research, I settled on a travel trailer brand, only to find that I couldn’t buy one in the overheated RV market. I spent days talking with dealers all across the country who were short on stock and high on price. Price negotiations? Forget about it. … Continue reading Randall’s happy story here.
My 2022 was a mixed bag
By Karel Carnohan, DVM
2021 and 2022 have been difficult years for me. Having sold my small business in Asheville, North Carolina, I decided to retire and move to the California desert to be near my sister. Although I do not like the desert, I committed to making it work because as she and I age, we will need each other. The key to success in this move, and my mental health, was having a way to escape the blistering summers in the Coachella Valley (and many of you will add in, escaping California). Thus, my plan to buy an RV was born. This all happened in late 2021 but really this was all melded together, with 2022 to be the most difficult year of my life.
Buying an RV in 2022: So nice we did it twice!
By Tony Barthel
There is nothing like getting a new RV and experiencing all the wonderful feelings associated with that. We got to pick up our new Rockwood Mini Lite 2205S in May of 2022. We were pretty excited as this was a prototype of some new features that Rockwood was offering, including a monster solar and battery package that literally changed the game for us in terms of camping planning. Well, we liked that experience so much that we repeated it just a few weeks ago. Find out why here.
Two best 2022 memories: sweet and sour
By Dale Wade
Of the several pulls we made in 2022, two stand out. Both gave us good memories. However, one of them turned sour. Our first pull came in August. We usually head to the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico to beat the Texas heat. This year found us in Gunnison, CO, for two weeks followed by two weeks in Chama, NM. Continue reading about the lesson Dale learned (maybe you’ll learn from it).
Will you celebrate New Year’s Eve tonight?
Please let us know. After you click your response, you’ll see how others have responded. Feel free to leave a comment.
POPULAR POLL FROM THIS PAST WEEK
We asked: How often do you use swear words? Find out if RVtravel.com readers have a potty mouth here.
Is this your RV?
Win a $25 Amazon gift certificate if today’s RV photo shows your rig
Every day we post a photo of an RV either submitted by its owner or by our editors and writers as they move about the country.
How would you like to win a copy of 100 Parks, 5000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do?
How to win
We’ll select a winner at random out of all entries we receive today (December 31, 2022) by 7 p.m. Pacific time. Remember, you can only enter once and after we notify you by email via RVcontests@gmail.com that you won, you have 24 hours to respond or we’ll give the prize to someone else.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook”.
This past week’s questions that Dave answered:
- I winterized the RV and it still froze. Why?
- What type under-sink water filter do you recommend?
- Why does RV’s rear furnace work but front one blows cold air?
- What HD TV antenna/Wi-Fi combo do you recommend?
- Why do some appliances work on LP but cooktop and generator do not?
Have a question for Dave? Click any Ask Dave article and scroll down to fill out the form. He’ll get back to you!
?? MYSTERY PRODUCT OF THE DAY ??
Tomorrow is the first day of the new year, so it’s a perfect time to start using something like this.
Recipe of the Day
by Lisa G. Sweet Pantry Gal from Buffalo, NY
The creamy dill melds so wonderfully with the succulent chops! Place on a bed of noodles for an easy weeknight go-to meal.
Readers’ Pet of the Day
“Ten years ago, riding my horse, a black and white polka-dotted puppy crawled out of a ditch and lay down in front of me. Suzy, our Border Collie mix, is etched in our hearts. She loves our travel trailer, her nest she graciously shares with us!” —Emily Hulsey
The popular annual tradition of gathering in New York City’s Times Square for New Year’s Eve all began in 1904 to celebrate the opening of the New York Times Building. More than 200,000 people attended the celebration. Today, about a million people gather in the square each year.
Laugh of the Week
“RVs: Who Makes What” – This is a new free directory from RVtravel.com which lists every U.S. RV manufacturer and their makes and models. Learn more and/or download a free PDF copy.
RV Show Directory: See if a show is coming soon to your area.
Stolen RVs — Help us recover these stolen RVs. The more eyes we have searching for them, the better chance of getting them back to their rightful owners, and maybe putting the crooks who stole them in the slammer! See the stolen RVs.
Where to complain about bad RVs, dealers, service, RV parks. This is an ever-expanding list of resources where you can report, share or discuss your problems with RV manufacturers or dealers.
Best Club for RVers: Escapees. Click here to learn more or join. Endorsed by RVtravel.com.
Directory of RV parks with storm shelters
In case you’re on the road with your RV and the weather report is showing a tornado headed your way, have this list handy.
What does financing an RV for 20 years REALLY mean?
In case you missed this article the first time around, here it is again. Important! Click here.
Stuck with a lemon RV? Contact Ron Burdge, America’s premier RV lemon law attorney.
The Best RV Trip Planner Apps and Tools. Everything you need to help plan your trip is here.
Dustin Simpson RV Repair and Maintenance Articles: Incredibly helpful!
Did you miss last week’s RV Travel?
RVtravel.com All-Star Team
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Associate editor: Diane McGovern. Senior editors: Russ and Tiña De Maris. Senior writers: Nanci Dixon, Gail Marsh, Dave Solberg. Contributors: Roger Marble, Dave Helgeson, Julianne Crane, Machelle James, J.R. Montigel, Randall Brink, Karel Carnohan DVM, Cheri Sicard, Dustin and Ashley Simpson, Dale Wade, Paul Lacitinola, Jeff Clemishaw and Johnny Robot. Special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Moderators: Gary Gilmore. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. Special Reports: Bradford Geer. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen. Mascots: Archie and Astor (the Disaster)
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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